1. Local Carers
Local Carers, also known as Rehabilitators, have attended the day-long First Aid, Care and Rehabilitation of Hedgehogs course at Vale Wildlife Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre where they are taught how to care for, treat and medicate hedgehogs. Most Rehabilitators start by becoming Foster Carers.
2. Foster Carers
All Foster Carers must have their own transport and live within a maximum of 30 minutes drive from the Local Carer from whom they obtain the hedgehog. The limit on distance is crucial because the hedgehog may deteriorate whilst in foster care and must be returned immediately to the Local Carer for treatment.
Our Rehabilitators bring hedgehogs back to health prior to passing them to Foster Carers, who then tend the hedgehogs until their weight is deemed appropriate to resume life in the wild.
These are the tasks expected of a Foster Carer:
Clean the hutch and provide fresh water and food daily.
Monitor the weight and general condition of the hedgehog.
Liaise with the Rehabilitator in the event of a problem.
At all times you will be supported by our Rehabilitators who will carry out any medical treatment that the Hedgehogs require. We ask you to remember that our hedgehogs are wild hence are destined to resume life in their natural habitat. They may not be kept as pets.
You will need to provide:
A quiet area (a shed, for example) in which to keep the hedgehog enclosure.
A heated area, if you have one, for certain hedgehogs. If not, then we shall provide you with a hedgehog that needs no heat.
A hedgehog enclosure such as a hutch, cage or a deep crate.
Bedding (fleeces cut into squares, torn up newspaper or hay, for example).
Food. Generally wet and dry cat food, although some hedgehogs may be fussy, in which case we shall advise you.
Cleaning equipment and rubber gloves. Hedgehogs make a mess that requires daily cleaning.
Someone to cover for your absences.
We shall provide:
A clean, healthy hedgehog.
Support and advice as required, including taking back the hedgehog if the need arises.
Help in springtime, when the hedgehog is released back into the wild.
Click here for additional information on Foster Carer Requirements
We are always looking for safe, enclosed, preferably walled gardens into which we can release hedgehogs that have recovered from sickness but are not fit to survive in the wild (eg blindness). The owner would need to provide a feeding station, food, fresh water and arrange for cover should they go away.